Maybe I would just call it “Snickerdoodle Vomit”. A light brown, sure—but I hadn’t seen this exact color in such a large area before. I supposed that I’ve seen most colors, but when you define them down to a single number, it was somehow satisfying. I didn’t have the exact Pantone number for it, but it was something like 16-1234. Maybe that wasn’t even a color in Pantone, I don’t know… But were I working for a company and was forced, I would call it Distant Desert Deluge. Honestly, the color didn’t even matter really. The important part was what was happening inside the building. It’s just that I had a thing for color and liked to memorize them. A particular habit, but then again, I was a pretty particular guy. Inside the building was my girlfriend, I just hadn’t met her yet.
“Dude, come on. It’s going to be epic,” Jake had told me. And I had come, even though it was in an older building.
The Big Event had happened around ten years ago, and it was pretty standard for larger buildings to be affected. As was the great fear when I was a kid, I had the chips put into my hands, feet, and behind my ears. “Mark of the beast” the churches had screamed, and some of them didn’t get chipped. They changed their minds when they lost their identity from what the media called Twin Dissociation Syndrome. My parents were rich enough and wise enough to get me and my brother chipped early on.
I remember my brother and I were still going to public school where some people had been chipped and some hadn’t. Kids would show up twice and other kids wouldn’t show up at all. The worst thing was when a twin showed up, and the real kid didn’t. You could always tell, but the twin would insist that they were the kid—The real kid. They would have the memories somewhat down, they would look alright, but you always knew.
Chauncy was my best friend in school and he was killed by his twin. I remember the day that I found out from his parents. My brother Jake and I had been pulled from school that very afternoon and were enrolled at one of the newer schools who only accepted those that had taken the chip.
Later that year when my brother and I came home from school, our mother was in the front lawn covered in blood. My brother’s twin lay before her, full of holes from a kitchen knife. She had lived but would never be the same. We moved soon after. Our mother recovered (with scars), but the mental damage had been worse than the physical. Some days I would catch her looking at my brother before she would burst into tears and would have to leave the room.
I stood outside my parents’ bedroom listening in on her talking to my father.
“I can’t do it. I just can’t make it go away,” she said.
“It wasn’t him. It wasn’t anyone’s child. It was a monster and you did the right thing.” He tried to give her comfort.
“It was someone’s child!,” she screamed. “It was someone’s child!” Over and over again, as we drove her to the hospital.
Was it someone’s child? There were several opinions about them that I knew of. The largest group of people (at least, all the television shows), believed they were just like us, from another place. Another dimension. But that’s not what the State and Federal laws reflected. Not in the least. Lobbyists from every nook and cranny were still trying to get the laws changed, but it was slow in coming.
When my mother killed my brother’s twin, they asked her some questions, filled out some paperwork, but that was it. Animal control came and took away the body.
Animal control. Like it was a raccoon. I mean, it probably had more soul than a raccoon… They could think and everything. Not all the way, I mean, but mostly. Even now, I make it a habit of talking to the safe ones.
“Hi! How are you?” I ask.
A blank stare, a slow blink, “Hungry,” a twin may reply.
“Want some of my sandwich?” I’ll ask.
Another blank stare, then a look at me, then a hesitant and outstretched hand. It’s then that I don’t know what to expect. Usually, I will put the sandwich down and slide it towards them. I don’t like getting too close. Nobody does. Public Bus drivers had some of the first problems, and now most of them recognize how to deal with it. The Transit Authority of Omaha Nebraska were the first ones to figure it out. The twins loved to be around people. Not interacting with them, but just being around them. Staring at them, watching them, just being all-around creepy. So, they naturally will congregate at bus stops. They usually never have any money, and when they do, they usually don’t know how to use it. Paying for the smallest things with wadded up hundred dollar bills, wherever the hell they would get them, who knows?
But anyway, so they get on the buses and cause a commotion, not understanding the tokens or routes, they just stand there and don’t pay, or pay too much, not feeding it into the automated bill collector. Omaha inserted a plexiglass into the back third of their bus, and told the twins to enter and exit by the back door. Well, they technically took off the door, but they did paint the entryway bright yellow and green and the twins get on and get off whenever they feel like it. I watched a selfie the other day about it.
“Oh it’s weird all right,” a large man in his forties was saying. “They just sit there and stare at you for the whole trip.”
A bus driver was interviewed as well. “Yeah—so we just drop em off at the police station at the end of the day. Otherwise some of them would probably still be on the bus all night.”
Worldwide, the Transit Authority of Omaha Nebraska “formula” caught on and tolerance seemed to be the best solution.
But the rest of the world is not Nebraska. It’s a blessing and a curse for some countries. Greece enslaves all they can and puts them to work, even after their collapse, they still managed to figure things out. Russians shoot them on sight. Here, in the United States of America, mostly they are tolerated. India ignores them, I don’t understand how, but in India there are not as many as there are here.
Scientists call them Homo Sapiens Idaltu after the men that were found at Herto, Ethiopia—Man’s closest relative. I didn’t like it. I believed something other than most. That they are not humans… That they are without mothers.
I was a child of the imagination, and therefore given to more fanciful thoughts. Though I’ve read everything I can on them, I still had a thousand questions. Were they from another place? Another dimension? Were they equal to humans? I believed that they weren’t. That everything in them screamed out “ALIEN” to me was beyond doubt. Somehow, these entities were (in my mind) from another planet… But that’s beside the point.